Intel's Z170 chipset launched almost a year ago, but that has not stopped manufacturers from producing refreshed models with new features or newer aesthetics (RGB LEDs). At Computex, GIGABYTE launched the X99-Designare EX and Z170X-Designare, providing their Ultra Durable line of motherboards a rebirth. Both motherboards carry features aimed at enthusiasts who want a mainstream motherboard with the latest in consumer technologies. The Designare name would hint that the product is for those who want to design their own systems. The Z170X-Designare offers RGB LEDs in multiple sections of the motherboard, hence facilitating more colorful case mods and accessories.
Apart from the purely aesthetic RGB LEDs, the Z170X-Designare is quite formidable in regards to features. It is one of few Z170 motherboards to carry a U.2 port and an M.2 slot, it has dual Intel NICs, and it has dual USB Type-C ports with a whopping 100W power output support. USB Power Delivery 2.0 specification mentions a 100W Type-C power mode, which would require 20v output at 5A. The highest DC voltage outputted by the main PSU is only 12V, so a boost converter is required to produce 20V output, and GIGABYTE's Z170X-Designare has one to facilitate the ports. At first glance, the Z170X-Designare doesn't look like much, but let's take a look and see if we encounter any surprises.
The GIGABYTE Z170X-Designare has a lot of high-end features including Intel USB 3.1, U.2, M.2, SATA Express, support for 3-way Intel 750 RAID, and even dual Intel Gbit NICs.
The Z170X-Designare is available from many large retailers for roughly $250.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and Z170X-Designare Overview]
- Page 3 [GIGABYTE Z170X-Designare Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [GIGABYTE Z170X-Designare Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [The BIOS]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]